Controlled interactions of femtosecond light filaments in air

Bonggu Shim, Samuel E. Schrauth, Christopher J. Hensley, Luat T. Vuong, Pui Hui, Amiel A. Ishaaya, Alexander L. Gaeta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We experimentally demonstrate coherent control of two light filaments in air generated by ultrafast laser pulses, as proposed by Xi [Phys. Rev. Lett.PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.96.025003 96, 025003 (2006)]. We show that depending on the relative phase and the incidence angle, the filaments can experience fusion, repulsion, energy redistribution, and spiral motion for propagation in air. By translating the initial beams on subwavelength scales, we achieve ~1-mm transverse deflection of approximately 0.5-mJ energy for parallel propagation and 7° angular deflection for spiral motion in 3-m propagation. Our approach using the relative beam phases to reliably control propagation of femtosecond light filaments is potentially applicable to remote sensing and lightning guiding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061803
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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